Are you trying to have a baby? If you have excess pounds, it’s a good idea to get rid of them first before attempting to be in the family way. Experts say that obesity is something that can considerably lower your odds of being pregnant, plus it can also cause some very serious complications during pregnancy.
We all know that being overweight is bad for your health. It can put you at risk of joint pain, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, to name a few nightmares. Obesity can also put on the line the health not only of a pregnant woman, but also the growing and developing baby in her womb!
During pregnancy, obesity can cause many different complications such as:
- Preeclampsia. Characterized by hypertension, preeclampsia can cause damage to the various organs of the body of a pregnant woman, usually the kidneys.
- Gestational diabetes. This is a type of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy. However, it can put a woman at risk of having diabetes after giving birth.
- Overdue pregnancy. Experts say that an obese woman who is in the family way may continue to be pregnant past the expected day, which may require the following complication.
- Induced labor. Just like what the name says, this is the kind of labor that is stimulated by the doctor. Obesity can also impede the effectiveness of epidural block and other pain medications.
- C-section. Pregnant women who are overweight usually undergo elective or emergency c-section. Further, obesity can increase various c-section risks like an infection.
- Miscarriage. It is said that being obese can also increase a pregnant woman’s odds of having a miscarriage.
But prior to encountering all of those pregnancy complications, a woman who is overweight first needs to face the fact that obesity can make it very challenging for her to conceive. That’s because it can have an impact on a female’s reproductive health on various levels. Oh, and obesity can diminish a male’s fertility, too!
An overweight woman who is having a hard time being in the family way may think that there should be no problem as there is assisted pregnancy to turn to, such as in vitro fertilization. Called IVF for short, it involves combining an egg cell and sperm cell in the laboratory, then placing the embryo in the uterus.
Bad news for women who are overweight and wish to get pregnant by means of IVF: fertility specialists say that obesity can greatly diminish the chances of IVF being a success. It can be due to a couple of reasons, experts allege, such as hormonal imbalance in an obese woman’s body and the production of eggs with poor quality.
Let’s tackle some of the reasons why being overweight can impede pregnancy, natural or assisted alike:
- Insulin resistance. One of the many terrible health effects brought about by obesity is insulin resistance, which is something that can trigger so many problems. Insulin resistance can cause abnormal menstrual cycles.
- Anovulation. Insulin resistance can cause the so-called anovulation. In layman’s terms, it is the failure of a woman to produce eggs.
- Hormonal imbalance. Experts say that abnormal changes in hormonal levels can considerably reduce the risk of an obese woman getting pregnant. One reason behind such is the production of poor quality eggs.
- Male infertility. As mentioned earlier, being obese can also reduce a man’s fertility as it lowers testosterone levels and may even cause erectile dysfunction or ED.
Experts say that a reduction in weight can help increase an obese woman’s risk of getting pregnant, as well as ward off pregnancy complications discussed earlier.